HAMBURG.

Having been called “The gateway to the world” in the past, Hamburg may very well be the most diverse city in all of Germany. It’s not a city with which one falls in love at first glance, but one with which you build strong ties upon longer acquaintance. Apart from the most obvious asset of Hamburg, the port city vibe and all the attractions that brings – charming eateries, wonderful waterfront and the multicultural twist – Hamburg offers depth and substance. Enthusiasts of good music come to Hamburg to visit the new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, and to enjoy the vast musical heritage of this city. With Hamburg being the birthplace of both Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, it’s hard not to call it a musical city. The mixture of modern and historic architecture is another asset of Hamburg – where else could you party in a former WWII bunker, turned into a nightclub? Finally, Hamburg knows how to enjoy life – if you’re looking for quality cuisine and great nightclubs, Hamburg will surely not let you down.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Hamburg

Best Period to Visit Hamburg

Accomodation Tips

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Hamburg

Getting Around Hamburg

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Hamburg

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Hamburg

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Get the Hamburg Card

The Hamburg Card allows you to save some money right from the start, as it provides quite a wide variety of discounts and free bonuses. The most important feature of it is that it allows you to use the public transport without limits for a whole weekend, and, moreover, provides discounts for attractions.

Do not take a Taxi from the airport

While you may think that the easiest way to get to your accommodation place from the airport is by taxi, it is certainly not the one that is most cost-efficient. A ten-minute drive from the airport may cost you as much as €15, with a tip on top of that, so you should probably stay away from such a method.

Visit the Cafés

If you’re looking for a place to relax at a low price, make sure to visit one of the many cafés among the premises of Hamburg. The cafés here are especially well known for their relatively cheap prices, allowing you to grab a cup of coffee and something to eat for a small portion of what you would pay elsewhere.

Use a bike

It is a good idea to travel around the city of Hamburg on a bike, as there are plenty of cycling routes everywhere and the city is overall quite bike-friendly. There is a bunch of tunnels which cross the river, which are only allowed for pedestrians and cyclists to use, creating some handy shortcuts.

Book your tours in advance

You can easily save not only money but also precious time to spend otherwise during your trip if you book your tours a couple of months in advance. There are usually a lot of discounts for early-bookers, and you will be able to skip waiting in lines when you're there.

Join the locals

The locals usually know a lot about the most money-saving spots of Hamburg, so make sure to strike up a conversation with someone on the street and ask about the city. While you may be required to speak German to talk with most of them, there is also a lot of people there who speak English quite fluently.

Use the free hotspots

Make sure to turn off data transmission in your smartphone, tablet, or a laptop, as the fees are enormously higher when abroad. If you do not want to overpay or use the local short-term internet services, search around for free Wi-Fi hotspots, which are usually placed in restaurants and pubs.

Travel by train to nearby towns

If you want to see the sights of some of the cities and villages placed in the vicinity of Hamburg, make sure to use the regional train service. They are without a doubt the cheapest option available, costing only a fraction of what a taxi would cost unless you prefer to ride a very long distance on a bike.

Take the night train

If you are travelling to Hamburg from one of the other major cities in Europe, make sure to take a night train. Not only are these more comfortable than regular trains, as they often have soft beds and pillows to sleep on, but they are also a lot cheaper, especially in Germany.

Do not use local ATMs

A good way to save some money even before you begin your journey is to withdraw money in your domestic country and exchange it for Euros if your country uses another currency. Not only will you likely have to pay fees for withdrawing, but banks usually offer poor exchange rates.

Best Period to Visit Hamburg

Tourism

The peak tourist season for Hamburg falls between May and September, which is when the weather is at its best, and also when crowds of tourists storm the city. Fall is when the crowds subside, so if you’d like for the streets not to be packed, that’s the season for you.

Weather

Hamburg is the warmest from May to September, with around 25 °C highs in July. Winter is not overly harsh, but the temperatures still reach around -2 °C in January.

Money

From May to September it’s the peak season for Hamburg, which brings higher prices. Fall offers substantial discounts on food, accommodation and entertainment – you can expect around 20% lower prices. Winter is the cheapest, with accommodation available wherever you go.

Events

Hamburg Dom (March-April)
Duckstein Festival (July-August)
Romantic Nights (July-August)
Hamburg Dom (July-August)
Reeperbahn Festival (September)
Hamburg Dom (November-December)
Christmas Markets (December)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Apartments for rent in Hamburg are a surprisingly convenient form of accommodation, both for long holidays as well as for a short city break. Especially in the case of larger groups, it may be an attractive alternative to booking a hotel. Most apartments come with kitchen annexes, allowing you to save money by cooking for yourself.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Visiting Hamburg doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as long as you know how to save money. Cheap accommodation in Hamburg comes in the form of 1- and 2-star hotels. While not offering any luxurious facilities, these are enough to get you through the night, while allowing you to save substantial amounts of money. Their nightly rates start as low as $10.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Featuring comfortable facilities and very convenient location close to tourist attractions, standard hotels in Hamburg are the way to go for families and demanding travellers. Nightly rates for 3- and 4-star hotels in Hamburg start around $60.

Luxury hotels in Hamburg

The most splendorous form of accommodation – luxury hotels in Hamburg – provide impeccable quality of service, state-of-the-art facilities and unmatched location right next to the most important points of interest in the city. These hotels will satisfy even the most demanding guests. Nightly rates start around $200.

Getting Around Hamburg

Bicycle

There are a lot of cyclist routes and parks to drive around with a bicycle, making a bike a good way of transport in Hamburg. There are a couple of rental and bike-sharing services, the biggest of which is run by the city and operates from the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, as well as other important locations, such as near main monuments. You can take a bike free of charge aboard both S-Bahn and U-Bahn, as well as buses, but only outside of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Car and Motorcycle

Hamburg is a surprisingly car-friendly town, so using your own vehicle might not be a bad idea. There are a lot of parking spots, but they require a fee to use. The fees usually revolve around €4 per hour or €30 per day. Many hotels and accommodations have their own parking lots which you can use for free or at a discounted price, so make sure to ask.
Pay attention that the parking limit along the streets is usually limited to two hours, which costs around €6.

Bus

The buses cover most of the city with a well-developed net of stops and routes. There are three types of buses in Hamburg that you should know:
• The Metrobus, which includes around 25 different lines. These buses stop at every stop along their route.
• The Schnellbus is an express route with only about 10 lines, but these buses often skip most of the stops, allowing you to reach your destination quicker. They usually cruise between Hauptbahnhof and the Rathaus, but some lines continue further.
• The Nachtbuses are simply buses which operate during the night, and they also cover most of the city. They are useful to get around when U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines close for the night.

Ferry

A ferry might not be the fastest way to traverse the city, but it is definitely one of the more picturesque ones. If you have the Hamburg Card, you can use ferries for free, but otherwise, they require only a small fee. The ferries operate between 5:30 a.m. and 11.15 p.m., and depart every fifteen minutes. The tickets for ferries are the same as for every other means of public transportation and can be purchased at stops and machines.

U-Bahn and S-Bahn

There is almost no difference between these two types of trains. The U-Bahns usually depart more frequently (every five to ten minutes), and the S-Bahns depart every ten to twenty minutes. There is a map at every station, making the routes easy to work out. The two trains are generally the fastest and easiest way to get around the city, so make sure to use them frequently.

Tickets and Passes

Hamburg is divided into different zones, so make sure you get the right ticket for the zone you’re in. The zones outside the city centre tend to be more pricey.
• Short journey ticket – up to three stops, costs €1.60.
• Single ticket – allows for one ride without transfers, costs €3.30.
• 9-hour day pass – allows you to use every method of transportation for up to 9 hours from the moment you validate it, costs €6.40.
• Day pass – Valid from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next day, costs €7.70.
• Hamburg Card – a pass which allows you unlimited use of all means of public transportation. Can be bought for one, two, three, four, or five days, and costs from €10,50 to €41.90. The card itself also provides a range of discounts to attractions around the city.
Remember that the express bus lines require an additional fee of €2.20, so make sure you do not use them unless you are really in a hurry.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Hamburg

Hamburg Hop-on-Hop-off Tour

This tour allows you to traverse the city of Hamburg at your own pace in a classy red double-decker. You will be free to choose a route that suits you the best, with a lot of individual stops along the way, providing a convenient and comprehensive experience, which makes it easier to see all the top attractions of the city.

Essential Hamburg Combo Tour

Not only does this tour provide a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing service, which you can use whenever you wish, but it also allows you to enjoy a one-hour long harbor cruise. Moreover, there is a second one-hour long cruise included, on the Lake Alster. The ticket is valid for three consecutive days.

Guided Hamburg City Bike Tour

This bike tour will take you along the most important spots in Hamburg faster than a walking tour would, thanks to the use of comfortable bikes. The pace of the tour has been designed for all ages and abilities, so do not worry about not being able to keep up, and a free helmet is included with the purchase.

Hamburg Small-Group Sunset Sailing Cruise on Lake Alster

If you have a few free hours during your trip to Hamburg, this excursion is a good way to spend your time. It will take you on a sunset cruise on Lake Alster, providing you with a gorgeous view of the city skyline. There is also free beverage provided, so you do not have to worry about being thirsty.

St Pauli and the Port of Hamburg Tour

With the supervision of a well-accustomed local guide who will show you along the way, you will be able to explore the world-famous red-light district of Hamburg, as well as the Port of Hamburg. The tour takes two and a half hour and includes an exploration of a German submarine, as well as a ferry ride.

Hamburg Reeperbahn Pub Crawl

This four-hour long tour will take you on an enjoyable pub crawl along some of the most prominent nightclubs and pubs of Hamburg. See for yourself the thriving nightlife of the city, mostly centered in the St Pauli district. A couple of free drinks are provided, along with a range of discounts.

Guided Walking Tour Through The Elbphilharmonie

Being one of the most famous concert halls in all of Germany, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg is a place worth visiting. A knowledgeable guide will tell you about the history of the hall and its construction, and the tour takes a short time, allowing you to go on to see the other attractions of the city.

Private Small-Group Hamburg City Tour with a Luxury Vehicle

If you are feeling fancy, why not try this tour, which takes four hours and allows you to sit comfortably in a luxurious vehicle? With a group of up to four people, you are allowed to establish your own route of attractions and monuments to see. Moreover, refreshments are provided for free with the ticket.

City Tour through Hamburg by Bus

Providing one of the best cost-efficient prices available in the city, this tour will allow you to use a bus to traverse the city. The route takes you along some of the most important spots in Hamburg, including the Michel, the Alster, the town hall, the Elbphilharmonie, the Landungsbrucken, and others.

Skip the Line Panoptikum tour

Save yourself hours of waiting in lines to enter the Panoptikum in Hamburg for a very reasonable price. Inside, you will be able to explore at your own pace the marvels of the museum, including extremely realistic wax figures of characters from movies, pop-culture, and many other areas of everyday life.

Other Things to See and Do

Speicherstadt

The Speicherstadt is a district of Hamburg located near the city port. It is the biggest complex of magazines and warehouses, made in a gorgeous gothic style out of red brick. Nowadays, the Speicherstadt is a World Heritage Site, and its unique atmosphere is definitely worth experiencing.

HafenCity

Located not far from the Speicherstadt, the HafenCity is the waterside area of the district, finished in 2008. The HafenCity does not cease to grow and is planned to expand even more over the next 15 years, providing more housing and jobs for people, and creating a gorgeous, unique port area.

Elbphilharmonie

If you would rather not get a skip-the-line ticket and get into Elbphilharmonie for free, you can absolutely do so. The concert hall was opened in 2017 and is the tallest building in Hamburg, providing a marvellous view of the cityscape, along with its famous concerts of local and foreign performers.

Planten un Blomen

If you feel like having an afternoon walk, there is no better place in Hamburg to visit than the Planten un Blomen. Not only is it one of the most beautiful urban parks of Europe, spanning over almost fifty hectares of gardens and ponds, but it also has quite a few greenhouses with exotic plants to see.

International Maritime Museum

Located in the middle of the Speicherstadt district, in a building called Kaispeicher B, the International Maritime Museum is an enormous display of art spread over eleven floors. The museum was opened in 2008 and presents collections of model ships, naval memorabilia, aquatic artifacts, and even whole boats.

Kunsthalle Hamburg

Located just outside the Hauptbahnhof, the Kunsthalle is one of the largest and most famous museums in all of Germany. Not only does it contain masterpieces by such artists as Goya, Canaletto, Lucas Cranach, Rembrandt, and Rubens, but it also has special exhibits on 19th-century art and modern art.

St Pauli

What might sound as a church district at first, is actually one of the most well recognised red-light districts in Germany. If you’re in for a unique experience, make sure to visit the St Pauli district at night to gaze at its neon signs, ever-present graffiti, parades of courtesans, adult shops, and many more.

Miniatur Wunderland

Take a trip to this unusual museum if you love small and cute things, as it shows one of the biggest miniature collections in the world, which fills a whole warehouse. The Miniatur Wunderland began with only a miniature railway model, but over the last sixteen years, it has been expanded a lot.

Harbor Boat Tour

One of the best ways to see the port and the naval district is to do so from a boat’s deck terrace. If you have the Hamburg card, you can enter a boat for free, but even if you do not, they do not cost much. Many of the cruises also provide live music concerts and free snacks and drinks for their guests.

Jungfernstieg

The Jungfernstieg is the famous waterside promenade of the city of Hamburg. The name of the promenade comes from a tradition of wealthy families presenting their unwed daughters for men of high standing. Nowadays, you can gaze at the historic buildings and browse the souvenir stalls located there.

Elbe Tunnel

Opened in the year 1911, the Elbe Tunnel is one of the longest tunnels in the world. It is over four hundred meters long and is located twenty-four meters below the river. There are separate tunnels for cars, pedestrians and cyclists, so you do not have to worry about fumes when going on a walk.

The Alster

Hamburg is well known for its numerous and gorgeous bridges – it even has more bridges than London and Venice combined. Make sure to take a walk along the Alster, walking along bridges crossing canals and rivers, or go for an afternoon jog along the wide sidewalks with a lot of trees and plant life.

St Michael’s Church

The Church of St Michael is definitely the most famous Baroque Church in all of Germany, and it has lived through quite a lot. It was designed back in the 17th century and is over a hundred and thirty meters tall. The building was destroyed by lighting, razed by fire, and damaged by war, but still stands tall to this day.

Fischmarkt

While you may think that a fish market is usually a place to go if you’re looking for fresh produce, the Fischmarkt in Hamburg is actually a place of vibrant nightlife. The market contains a lot of local bands and DJs, creating a unique sight with some people searching through the stalls, and other dancing and partying.

Hamburg Rathaus

The city hall of Hamburg is a gorgeous place to visit, often leaving people speechless when they see it from the outside. The city hall is made in a Neo-Renaissance style and has a façade which is over a hundred and thirty meters tall, featuring a tall clock tower, with even more stuff to see inside.

Tierpark Hagenbeck

If you love looking at animals, make sure to visit the enormous zoo of Hamburg. It spans over twenty-four hectares of terrain, located in Planten un Blomen, and contains more than five hundred different species of animals from all over the world, including giraffes, elephants, leopards, zebras, lions, and many more.

Sternschanze

If you have a couple of hours to spare during your stay in Hamburg, make sure to take a walk along the streets of Sternschanze, a unique district of Hamburg. The streets of Sternschanze are adorned with graffiti, local hipster bars, anarchist communes, and small-time artists performing on the sidewalk.

Dialogue in the Dark

Come to the Dialog im Dunkeln museum for a truly unique experience, as the unusual museum puts you in the shoes of a blind person. You will have to rely on your other senses to get through the museum, as you will be blindfolded and led by a blind guide, making for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Deichtorhallen

Located between the Hauptbahnhof and the Hafen City district, the old exhibition centre presents art and photography located in a brick and steel warehouse, built in the 1910s. Not only is the gallery a sight to see from the outside, but the inside contains one of the largest collections of Japanese art.

Treppenviertel Blankenese

The name of this neighbourhood might be a little tough to pronounce for English-speakers, but should be definitely visited. Located on the outskirts of the town, the neighbourhood is filled with narrow alleys which round in a chaotic manner, surrounded by beautiful houses and stairways going up the cliff.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Hamburg city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Hamburg are: Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg, Hyperion Hotel Hamburg, Scandic Hamburg Emporio, Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg and Sofitel Hamburg Alter Wall. Discover the full list of best hotels in Hamburg.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Hamburg?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Hamburg include Steigenberger Hotel Hamburg, Empire Riverside Hotel, Crowne Plaza Hamburg City Centre, Le Meridien Hamburg, Hamburg Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Hamburg Hotel and Novotel Hamburg City Alster. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Hamburg.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Hamburg?

    Those trying to visit Hamburg on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Holiday Inn Express Hamburg City Centre, Novotel Suites Hamburg City, Ibis Hamburg City, Citadines Michel Hamburg, Henri Hotel Hamburg Downtown, Raphael Hotel Walderhaus and 25hours Hotel Hamburg Number One Hotel. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Hamburg.

  • What is the best period to visit Hamburg for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Hamburg for a city break are May, June, July and August.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Hamburg?

    Hamburg offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Hamburg include: Hamburg Hop-on-Hop-off Tour, Essential Hamburg Combo Tour, Guided Hamburg City Bike Tour, Hamburg Small-Group Sunset Sailing Cruise on Lake Alster and St Pauli and the Port of Hamburg Tour.

  • How much does an Hamburg city pass cost?

    A city pass in Hamburg costs around €38.

  • How much does public transport in Hamburg cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Hamburg costs around €10.50.

  • What are the best night clubs in Hamburg?

    The best night clubs in Hamburg include: Herzblut St. Pauli, Docks, Molotow, Gruenspan and Grosse Freiheit 36.

  • What are the best bars in Hamburg?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Hamburg are: Luba Luft, Knust, Goldfischglass, Absinth Bar and Le Lion de Paris.

  • What are the best places to eat in Hamburg?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Hamburg may vary depending on your taste, however, Haerlin, Estancia Steaks, Liman and Békaa are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Hamburg?

    Top 5 restaurants in Hamburg include: Café Paris, Henssler & Henssler, Le Plat du Jour, L’Orient and Fischereihafen Hamburg.